The Kelowna Rockets defeated the Seattle Thunderbirds 3-2 in a hard-fought Western Hockey League game Friday night at accesso ShoWare Center.
Down a goal late in the third period Seattle pulled goalie Roddy Ross for an extra attacker. The T-Birds got several good chances but Kelowna goalie Cole Schwebius made the saves.
Kelowna took a 1-0 lead on a goal by Dalton Wilton at 12:01 of the first period.
The Rockets extended the lead to 2-0 with a power-play goal by Dillon Hamaliuk at 16:27 of the first.
Seattle tied the game 2-2 with two goals in 32 seconds in the second period.
Alex Morozoff moved the puck up the right wing to Andrej Kukuca. Kukuca made a cross ice pass to Conner Bruggen-Cate skating with speed up the left wing. Bruggen-Cate took the pass in stride, skated into the left circle and beat Kelowna goalie Cole Schwebius with a hard wrist shot over the glove at 7:30 of the second.
Kelowna was called for a penalty 22 seconds after Bruggen-Cate’s goal and the T-Birds capitalized. Kukuca had the puck along the left boards and passed it to Simon Kubicek at the left point. Kubicek skated to the midpoint and took a wrist shot with Payton Mount in the slot. Mount tipped Kubicek’s shot past Schwebius at 8:02 for his third goal of the season.
Hamaliuk scored at 9:24 of the third period to give the Rockets a 3-2 lead.
The T-Birds play the Saskatoon Blades at 6:05 p.m. Saturday at the ShoWare Center.
Single-game tickets are on sale online and at the ShoWare box office. Fans who purchase the 24-flex ticket package will be able to select any available premium seat for any game, in any ticket combination, during the 2019-20 season.
First period – 1, Kelowna, Wilton 1 (Ernst), 12:01. 2, Kelowna, Hamaliuk 7 (, Comrie), 16:27 (pp). Penalties – Swetlikoff, Kel (hooking), 6:38. Jeri-Leon, Sea (tripping), 8:38. McNelly, Sea (charging), 16:10. Roulette, Sea (roughing), 17:57.
Second period – 3, Seattle, Bruggen-Cate 4 (Kukuca, Morozoff), 7:30. 4, Seattle, Mount 3 (Kubicek, Kukuca), 8:02 (pp). Penalties – Sass, Kel (high sticking), 4:26. Swetlikoff, Kel (high-sticking), 7:52. Bauer, Sea (tripping), 15:07.
Third period – 5, Kelowna, Hamaliuk 8 (Kindree, Foote), 9:24. Penalties – Ciona, Sea (unsportsmanlike conduct, major-fighting), 14:04. Lee, Kel (major-fighting), 14:04. Rybinski, Sea (roughing), 18:37. Liwiski, Kel (roughing), 18:37.
Shots on goal – Seattle 10-15-14 39, Kelowna 7-7-15 29. Goalies – Seattle, Ross 29 shots-26 saves (6-8-2-1); Kelowna, Schwebius 39-37 (3-3-0-0). Power plays – Seattle 1-5; Kelowna 1-4. Referees – Ryan Benbow, Ryan O’Keeffe. Linesmen – Kris Delaney, Justin Nicol.